Homesafe + Locket + Bogues @ Piranha Bar – 8 January 2020

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Homesafe in Montreal

The live music scene in Montreal is traditionally a slow-starter after the Holidays.  Props to local promoters Outbreak Productions, then, for getting things going on January 8th!  A show which I may well have passed on in the crowded months of spring and autumn is right up there at the top of my priority list at the start of January.  There is still no official word on whether ’77 is happening this year, so I should probably take all the pop-punk I can get!  Even the report of a crazy guy invading the venue with a baseball bat a couple of days ago isn’t enough to keep me away! 


Bogues, the moniker of Nashville singer-songwriter AJ Gruenewald, is a fairly mellow start to the evening, armed only with a pitcher of beer and an electric guitar.  His stripped-down sound resembles Dashboard Confessional to an extent, though less emo and more witty in his anecdotes: his realization that we are closer to sasquatch territory that he realized when booking the tour was a personal highlight!  He seems genuinely touched by the size of the crowd too: “it’s wild that people are watching me in a country I’m not from, thanks so much!” 

Locket at Piranha Bar

Toronto’s Locket are a much slicker proposition.  Their recent debut record All Out sounds like it just dropped off the conveyor belt at Drive-Thru Records behind New Found Glory and Fenix TX, and when I mention this to frontman Brad Garcia after the show, he takes this as the compliment it is intended as.  The live set is already honed to perfection too, already sounding destined for stages much bigger than Piranha Bar can offer; heck, they even have a smoke machine!  Harmony duty is been shared around the stage, with drummer JJ Sorensen obliging on Sunshower, before guitarist Cory Bergeron chips in on Sleepwalking.  By the time the 30-minute set wraps up with a thunderous Out Of Sight, a good-sized chunk of the crowd are singing and clapping along, showing how Locket have picked up a decent-sized following already.  On the strength of tonight’s performance, surely it will only get bigger.

Locket setlist

  • 1.    Other People
  • 2.    Sunshower
  • 3.    Lighten Up
  • 4.    Sleepwalking
  • 5.    Hunny
  • 6.    All Out
  • 7.    Out Of Sight

Chicago’s Homesafe have been doing this a little longer, having just released their second full-length One (after a few EPs too), and throw even more of those punk-rock shapes you remember!  Guitarist Ryan Rumchaks and bassist Tyler Albertson are most certainly co-frontmen, splitting vocal duties right down the middle, and bound around the stage with more energy than you imagine possible on a cold winter Wednesday night!  New song Save Me is already an anthem of arm-waving proportions, which makes Piranha Bar feel more like a stadium, while Nothing Left To Lose, introduced by Ryan as “the first song we ever wrote,” is a frenetic buzzsaw than turns the place quickly back into a punk club.  Have It All is a much moodier vibe that lets everyone finally catch their breath!  All in all, it’s a great 45 minutes, and gets my 2020 off to a terrific start!

Homesafe setlist

  • 1.    Stranger
  • 2.    Hourglass
  • 3.    Save Me
  • 4.    Run
  • 5.    Nothing Left To Lose
  • 6.    Relapse
  • 7.    Have It All
  • 8.    Sadistic Society
  • 9.    Two (Bare) Hands
  • 10.  Vanilla-Scented Laser Beams

Review & photos – Simon Williams

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